Friday, December 6, 2019
NXT on USA Review - October 2nd, 2019
Wednesday Night Wars are on and underway. I admittedly watched AEW live and just caught the NXT replay, but I'm reviewing them both and posting at the same time.
I haven't watched NXT since Takeover 25 so I have a little catching up to do but let's get to it!
1) Adam Cole (c) vs. Matt Riddle - NXT Title Match
Insane choice for an opener, but it was definitely the right move because the crowd was red hot and ate every bit of this up. We all know the story going into this without even really having to look into it, Cole is the cocky, smug reigning champ and Riddle is the vicarious challenger. The fans eat it up and Cole & Riddle give us one hell of a bombfest that hit every marker for the 15 minutes or so they were in the ring. Amazing energy and not one mis-step. Awesome contest with Cole retaining by use of his cast despite multiple moments where it felt like Riddle was gonna come out on top. Much better than Cole/Gargano at Takeover 25 oops.
Match rating - ****1/4
Post-match, I get goosebumps as FINN GOD DAMN BALOR returns to NXT. He comes to the ring and simply says "As of now, Finn Balor is NXT" and Cole scurries away. This is gonna rule. It's what Balor needed and will be a huge boost to my interest (and I'm sure others' interest) in NXT on Wednesday nights.
Velveteen Dream comes out and declares his intent on getting the North American Title from Roderick Strong.
NEXT WEEK: Drew Gulak defends the Cruserweight Title against Lio Rush
2) Mia Yim vs. Io Shorai
First time seeing Mia Yim in years and first time since she signed to WWE and SHE'S SO GOOD. Both of those women honestly rule from their entrances/appearance to their in-ring work so this was badass all around. Several hot nearfalls before Io Shorai picks up the win with a fantastic moonsault.
Match rating - ***1/2
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are at ringside and get a few moments on camera
The Street Profits and Bianca Belair are shown arriving outside hell yuhhhh
A video package on Tegan Knox's injury and rehabilitation is shown, she returns sooooon!
3) Johnny Gargano vs. Shane Thorne
The babyface king of NXT is hurrrrr. To quote Nigel McGuinness - "Shane Thorne put up a hell of an Aussie fight" and that's the best way to describe this. Hot crowd made this quick one really fun. Gargano wins despite a valiant, viciouseffort from Thorne.
Match rating - **3/4
4) Shayna Basler (c) vs. Candice LeRae - XXT Women's Title Match
Honestly didn't know what to expect here. Although I am a massive Candice mark, I didn't expect her to have much of a chance here, but they did an amazing job of building it up like she did. I got super invested about half-way through and so did the audience in attendance which made for some great false finishes. Good struggle from Candice before Shayna finally puts her away and retains. Candice LeRae forever thooooo <3
Match rating - ***3/4
5) Pete Dunne vs. Danny Burch
This was in a cool down spot on the show and served just fine in that position. Dunne is always fun to watch and Burch is an enjoyable counterpart. This segment was all about the post match with Damian Priest making his presence felt to set up a match in the coming weeks between the two.
Match rating - **1/4
Adam Cole is backstage with an interview about retaining his title. Strong, O'Reilly and Fish come up with concern about Finn Balor. Cole reshifts their focus to the upcoming tag title defense that O'Reilly & Fish have.
6) The Undisputed Era (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish) vs. Street Profits - NXT Tag Team Title Match
Insanely hype entrance for the Street Profits. This got quite the fight feel based off this and the introductions. Every O'Reilly/Fish match is good and the Street Profits are on fire lately so this popped off. Small isolation period with Kyle and Bobby working their signature style before it broke down into hot tags and big moments. This wasn't structured as an epic though so it's not must see, but definitely super solid. Roddy comes down for a distraction so they play off that also. UE retains.
Match rating - ***1/2
NXT Champion and Undisputed Era leader Adam Cole comes down to celebrate with his cohorts only to be met by a returning TOMMASO CIAMPA. Cole has two big names breathing down his neck to start NXT's tenure on the USA Network going head to head with AEW in prime time. Awesome show.